Being a software tester myself I found this request for proposal interesting. DARPA is seeking ways of testing complex software systems by employing non-specialists through crowd sourcing. I have to admit, this is a bold, bold idea when you read their vision in how to employ this. Note, crowd sourcing to test your app is not new. Google has been doing that for years, but this is about something much more complex than a web app.
Here’s the press release.
Here’s the details on the proposal.
Unreliable software places huge costs both on the military and the civilian economy. The current state of practice contains about one to five bugs per thousand lines of code. Formal program verification is the only way to be certain that a given piece of software is free of errors that could disrupt military operations in the field. Formal verification is currently done manually by specially-trained engineers. Consequently, formal verification has been too costly to apply beyond small, critical software components.
The Crowd Sourced Formal Verification (CSFV) program seeks to make formal program verification more cost-effective by reducing the skill set required for verification. The approach is to transform verification into a more accessible task by creating a game that reflects the code model, is intuitively understandable, and is fun to play. Completion of the game effectively helps the program verification tool complete the corresponding formal program verification proof.